Gray the cat approves of the $1,000 quilt.
This is my first all-traditionally-pieced quilt, no trapplique or applique, just squares and triangles sewn together with 1/4″ seams. Since I don’t get excited about traditional quilt designs, but wanted to try traditional techniques, I designed this insane vicious cat. After Kaye England’s class last month I bought some of her fancy acrylic rulers, a straight stitch plate for my Janome, and some cotton thread. They paid off: although the top isn’t perfect, it came together pretty darn well and hardly required any trimming.
For the eyes I did curved seams, which was tricky and imperfect but sufficient for this project.
I’m getting a little tired of FMQ on my domestic machine. I tried a sit-down 16″ long arm quilting machine a few weeks ago and loved it: it was fast, and I could really see what I was doing. Now I really feel the constraints of my Janome, especially how hard it is to see past about an inch. I have yet to try an articulated long arm on a frame, but that’s next. Will it be even more like drawing? Can I get some longed-for spontaneity into quilting with one of those?
An animated gif of the adorable gray cat (currently called “Gray” until his real name emerges) my Momz and I adopted from the Humane Society. He’s getting along well with Lola, whom we adopted a few weeks earlier.
Now we have 2 perfect cats, we’re not adopting any more.
Having sold one This Land Is Mine quilt and sent the other to my brother, it was time to make a new one. This is my first two-sided quilt. One side features the Angel of Death. The quilted outlines of the men killing each other give him texture.
This time I didn’t pre-wash the fabric, so the colors are very slightly brighter.
Death seemed like a fine piece to work on, since I’m grieving my beloved Bruno. That said, my Momz adopted a new cat from the shelter a few days ago. Her name is Lola, and she thinks my sewing machine is a toy.
I didn’t get pictures of her batting at the needle (it goes up and down! Toy!) last night because I shut off the machine and took her out of the room instead. These photos are from earlier today, as her interest was waning (which was why I was able to finish the quilt).
Lola is nothing like Bruno. That’s one of the reasons we chose her. I’m not looking to replace Bruno, he is irreplaceable and I miss him terribly. Nonetheless Lola is an excellent cat. She is friendly, curious, and outgoing. She seems to completely lack any neuroses, which is unusual for her species. Also she is tiny and cute. She’d make a great therapy cat.
I knew it had to happen some day. Bruno stopped eating a little over a week ago and when his decline went into suffering (his purr box broke near the end, it was heartbreaking) we were lucky enough to get an angelic female vet and assistant (Bruno likes women and is afraid of men) to perform the kindest, gentlest euthanasia at at home. I have the flu so I was in bed with him his last several days; there’s nothing he would have wanted more, I think. I still have the flu, and a broken heart, but I’m very grateful for the 10 years of love this wonderful cat gave me.
This small project took a long time to finish, because it’s hot and my interest in sewing has dropped precipitously. I only touched it every few days, and then usually for less than an hour at a time. Anyway, it’s done now, and on my floor:
This technique looks a lot better stretched, as in Air/Nude. But since the black side has contrasting thread, it’s OK.
My friend Ken Levis named this beautiful, shy, wild yet affectionate creature “Peanut,” which may explain why she hides most of the time. I’m the only human other than Ken she will leave her hiding place in the closet for, and I’m cat-sitting this weekend. Peanut trusts me, but she doesn’t trust cameras, so I had to take these pictures from a distance with maximum zoom. If she finds out I turned her into this silly animated gif, she may never let me rub her belly again.
These last few weeks have been pretty awful. I am broke and homeless. Time I should be spending working on promoting my film – my only asset, my life’s work – has instead been consumed salvaging what I can from my apartment, bagging things in ziplocs, laundry laundry laundry, carrying stuff up and down and back and forth, throwing things out, calling exterminators, calling the landlord, calling friends, sleeping on a sofa, not sleeping on a sofa, taking showers and immediately changing into more ziploc-ed clothes, more laundry, wiping salvaged computer parts down with alcohol, weeping, talking to other tenants in my now-former building, confronting debt, canceling accounts, checking messages, begging for help, watching red bumps grow on my hands and arms (I have a delayed reaction to bed bug bites; it takes 9 days for the red welts to really blossom, then they linger a long time), reading bedbugger.com, reading craigslist housing ads, weeping some more, et cetera.
Now I get to enjoy two glorious weeks in my favorite city in the World. Sita did very well in Europe, especially France – in addition to the Annecy prize, she won “Best American Feature” at Avignon. All of which takes some of the sting out of returning to a lost potential romance, a friend’s descent into alcoholism, and a bedbug infestation in my building (the exterminators come Friday). Still, I am overjoyed to be reunited with my beloved cat Bruno, and walk and bicycle in the city I love, bedbugs and all.
Here are some pictures of Novi Sad, Serbia, I took while attending the Cinema City film festival.